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The City of Helsinki and the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Council case study

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area


The Helsinki Metropolitan Area consists of the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen. The Metropolitan Area covers 745 square kilometres and contains a total population of approximately one million. With about 19 per cent of the country’s population in just 0.2 per cent of its surface area, the housing density of the area is high by Finnish standards. The Metropolitan Area also has a high concentration of employment: approximately 580,000 jobs. Despite the intensity of land use, the region also has large recreational areas and green spaces.


HSY Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority is a regional authority providing environmental services for residents and companies in the Helsinki area. The principal duties of HSY comprise water and waste management as well as providing regional information services. HSY has a climate unit that coordinates climate strategy work and monitors greenhouse gas emissions and climate work in the region.


Adaptation to climate change in the area


Finland has a National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change in place since 2005. Adaptation to climate change at the regional and municipal levels is still a new issue in Finland, and even though there are some regional and municipal adaptation strategies under preparation, there are few adaptation actions happening on the local level.


The Helsinki Metropolitan Area has a climate change mitigation strategy (Climate Strategy for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area 2030) that was published in 2007 and approved by the cities and the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Council YTV (currently HSY) in 2007 and early 2008. However, there is also a need to prepare for the consequences of climate change in the area. The Helsinki Metropolitan Area is situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea and has hundreds of kilometres of coastal line. Increased risk of floods and droughts, sea level rise, extreme events and other impacts of climate change to the urban and built environment and coastal areas require early adaptation measures.


The task of HSY in the BaltCICA –project is to develop adaptation to climate change options for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area in close cooperation with the cities of the area. The following tasks will be carried out:   

  • Climate change scenarios for the area will be developed

  • Possible impacts of climate change in the area will be identified, with a focus on urban built area, urban environment and coastal areas

  • Possible adaptation options will be developed and the options will be appraised


The task of City of Helsinki in the BaltCICA-project to

  • to work in close co-operation with Helsinki Metropolitan Area Council (YTV) that is developing climate change adaptation strategies for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.
  • to design concrete adaptation measures for different city departments in cross-departmental network. Existing city strategies and programmes are integrated into adaptation work.
  • Special focus for measures is on urban built area, harbour areas and development plans.

Climate information and scenarios for the Helsinki Metropolitan area (Finish with English Summary)

Climate is changing in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area- Background studies for the Adaptation Strategy (FI with English summary)

Flyer ”Our climate is changing - Urban adaptation strategy for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area”

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area


Photo: YTV/Hannu Bask

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area